Drug addiction is rarely a stand-alone illness. While there are many drugs that are highly addictive, the isolation of mental illness and trauma can often push people to use unhealthy products as a coping tool. Addressing the underlying condition can make a huge difference in the ability of an addict to successfully undergo treatment. How can a Florida drug rehab center help women coping with trauma?
Addressing underlying trauma takes time. Survivors of childhood abuse and sexual assault often need one on one therapy to dig down to the trauma and actually study the origins of their condition. This can lead to a highly distressing experience, the reliving of the event. However, with quality therapy and care, survivors can learn to sense a PTSD response and get in front of the trigger to view it through time.
Substance Abuse As Coping Tool
Once a sufferer enters substance abuse treatment, their well-being as a human becomes the goal of the treatment team. This means going through detox, of course, but it also means focusing on nutrition, getting into a fitness habit and addressing underlying conditions, such as mental illness and PTSD.
If memories and experiences are so severe that the survivor simply can’t face them, then substance abuse has a tragic logic in it. Survivors may use marijuana to relax, or opiates to escape. Some might abuse a stimulant to give them energy or overcome crushing dread or to gain focus to manage the tasks of daily living. The reaction of the brain to substances that are inherently unhealthy makes sense if the sufferer understands how PTSD acts on the body and the mind.
Each victim and survivor comes to rehab with a unique experience and a unique set of coping skills. Some coping skills are healthy while others are destructive. However, to the survivor, all of these skills may have felt like the only good option at the time. Drugs to create focus, find relaxation, or simply escape were a sadly logical choice if the PTSD sufferer could not manage the symptoms without them.
Psychological trauma and PTSD are more than just bad dreams and difficult memories. A person in the throes of a PTSD flashback is not just remembering. They are experiencing the trauma again. They may have an elevated heart rate, feel panicky, be unable to focus and even flee a situation that they feel to be unsafe. Their traumatic event may have happened at some point in the past, but their experience of it is now. Some PTSD sufferers may struggle with anxiety related to experiences they only witness, while other people are simply genetically predisposed to developing the condition. While it may not be easy for those who haven’t suffered a high degree of trauma, the move toward medications that provide disconnection made sense to the sufferer.
In addition to high levels of panic and anxiety, PTSD can also lead to a disassociation with everything and everyone. A survivor of sexual abuse or sexual assault may have lost a sense of trust and security in their body. They may loathe the skin they’re in, or simply feel vulnerable at every turn. This disassociation, too, is a coping mechanism that their brain developed as a way of distancing themselves from their suffering.
Addressing the source of traumatic memories and moving on with their lives as a whole human being will take time and require more help than just drug detox and addiction therapies. During the detox process, PTSD sufferers and trauma survivors will learn to take pleasure in their physical strength. They will learn to treat their body well with a program of appropriate exercise, quality rest and healthy food.
Building a new future that includes feeling safe in your own skin will require survivors to dig down into some really tough territory. Drug rehab is about much more than detox. Freeing your body from the pull of addictive drugs is a simple step in the process of treating addiction. Breaking away from a PTSD response, particularly a response that’s been medicated into submission, will require careful therapy, review, and management. We can help, call now 833-846-5669 to discuss drug treatment and PTSD therapy options.